Summer is made for this simple and delicious combination of brown sugar grilled peaches topped with creamy homemade cinnamon ice cream. It’s a luscious, refreshing, and oh-so-satisfying way to end any meal.
The idea of grilling peaches is a revelation. It takes what we all love about this summer fruit and enhances it. The peaches themselves become super tender and juicy, but not mushy, with the slightest hint of char. Add to that our topping of cinnamon and brown sugar, which caramelizes over the cut side of the peach and becomes almost like a caramel. The flavor of the topping is just so perfect alongside the warm peach
A Note About Peaches
The most frustrating thing about peaches is often that pit. Sometimes it comes out easily and other times it makes you want to throw the peach across the room it’s so difficult. There are two basic categories of peaches based on how easily the pit is to remove. And knowing how to pick the right type can make things so much easier!
The first type is clingstone. In this variety, the pit literally clings to the flesh of the peach and will fight you if you try to pull it out. The second type is freestone, out of which the pit practically jumps. It releases readily, making the process of pitting your peaches so much easier.
The Kitchn has a great little article explaining the differences, along with a link to learn the best way to pit a peach. It’s so helpful! And this article from Eat Like No One Else, has a handy list of freestone varieties along with a calendar to help you determine if what you are buying is likely freestone or clingstone.
Making Your Grilled Peaches
These are so easy. Simply halve your peaches and remove the pit. Oil up your grill and put the peaches directly onto the grates, cut side down, for 5 minutes.
Mix up the brown sugar and cinnamon, the put about 1 teaspoon of the mixture onto the peaches right after flipping them over. Grill for another 4-5 minutes or until the peach is soft but not mushy and the topping is melted.
You can enjoy these on their own – they are truly delicious! – or you can serve them the way we like best, with a big scoop of our homemade cinnamon ice cream. You will not regret it!
Making Your Cinnamon Ice Cream
We’re talking about this second, but you should really make your ice cream first, even the day before you plan to grill your peaches. The ice cream mixture needs time to chill before churned and then the finished ice cream needs at least 2 hours in the freezer after churning. We know this requires patience, but your patience will be rewarded!
This ice cream is custard-based, meaning it’s made with egg yolks, cream, and milk. Starting with a custard base ensures that your finished ice cream is creamy and smooth, not ice and hard.
First, whisk egg yolks with sugar until it is light in color. This loosens the eggs and starts to dissolve the sugar. It also helps the eggs to not scramble when you add your hot liquid a couple of steps later in the recipe.
Set the eggs aside and heat your milk and cream until it begins to steam. This is often called “scalding” the milk. You don’t want it to simmer or boil, so keep a close eye on it. Once it is steamy, carefully pour a thin stream into your egg mixture while whisking constantly. You are tempering your eggs, which will help them to not scramble when you put your custard back onto the heat.
Pour the fully-combined liquid back into your pot and heat gently while stirring until it thickens slightly. It should coat the back of a spoon. It won’t be thick like pudding, but you should be able to feel it thicken as you stir. It’s best to use a silicone spatula for this so that you can scrape the sides and bottom of the pot as you stir, so that the mixture doesn’t sit in on spot and burn.
Once it thickens, immediately pour it into a glass or metal bowl. Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon before covering it tightly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
From Custard to Ice Cream
With your custard thoroughly chilled, you can now make it into ice cream! We use an electric ice cream maker for this. It takes about half an hour, but it’s all hands-off time. Really, it’s so easy and completely worth the investment. This one from Cuisinart is our favorite.
Just pour your custard into the machine and follow the machine’s instructions to churn it into ice cream. It will still be soft when it is finished churning, kind of like soft serve. Scrape it into a freezer container and put it in the freezer for at least 2 hours to finish firming up.
Serving Your Grilled Peaches With Cinnamon Ice Cream
Grill up your peaches on a hot summer afternoon, then put each warm half into a bowl. Top with a generous scoop of cinnamon ice cream.
If you want to be really impressive, add a dollop or swirl of freshly whipped cream and sprinkle extra brown sugar cinnamon topping over the top.
It doesn’t get any better than that!
Brown Sugar Grilled Peaches
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar packed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 large ripe peaches
- Prep: Heat grill to around 350 degrees F. Lightly oil the grates using a paper towel and tongs.
- Mix: Prepare the topping by combining the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Grill: Slice each of the peaches in half and remove the pits. Grill the halves cut side down for 5 minutes. Turn the peaches over and top each with 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Grill for another 4-5 minutes or until softened and warmed through.
- The peaches shouldn’t be too soft at the end of grilling. You can test this by squeezing the halves gently with the tongs.
- These are great alone, but best when served with a scoop of homemade cinnamon ice cream!
Homemade Cinnamon Ice Cream
- 1 Ice Cream Machine
- 4 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Whisk Eggs and Sugar: In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until it lightens in color and makes a ribbon as it falls from the whisk back into the bowl. Set aside.
- Heat Cream and Milk: Pour cream and milk into a medium pot and heat on medium-low, stirring often, until it begins to steam. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk it into the egg mixture.
- Combine and Heat: Pour the combined mixture back into the pot and heat on medium-low, stirring constantly, until it thickens slightly. When it is thick enough to coat the back of your spoon, immediately remove it from the heat and strain into a glass or metal bowl. Whisk in the vanilla and the cinnamon.
- Chill Custard: Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
- Churn: After the mixture is thoroughly chilled, pour it into the bowl of an ice cream maker and follow the maker’s instructions for making ice cream.
- Freeze: Once it is finished, place the ice cream into a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
- You are making a custard here and the process described is for tempering your eggs. Basically, you want to heat your eggs gently and slowly so that they don’t scramble. Always be sure to strain the mixture, just in case some scrambling occurred at the edges or bottom of the pot.
- If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can simply freeze the custard, but it won’t have quite the same consistency. Investing in an electric ice cream maker is worth it!